tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN July 11, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EDT
things about the inner workings of the cities of america. it is a fun and often controversial column will run. host: that website is menshealth.com. peter more is the editor of " men's health"magazine . thank you joining us. don't forget the house of representatives will vote on repeal of the affordable care act are you can stay tuned and watch that. stay tuned) are website, c- span.org, for all the activities we will run today when it comes to campaign 2012 issues. the website is c-span.org and the houses in at 10:00 and there just about to come in now so we will go to the house of representatives. h[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
the speaker: the house will be in order. pursuant to the order of the house of january 17, 2012, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate . the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr.
gutierrez, for five minutes. mr. gutierrez: mr. speaker, we've all seen bad horror movies, the ones where every time you think it's safe to relax and take a deep breath, the monster is right behind the door. the teenagers in the basement or the swimmers at the lake or the hikers in the woods trying to get away, the creature just can't get impstopped. well, the people of puerto rico are stuck in their very own horror movie, one that just won't end and one with a villain that just won't go away except the guy isn't wearing a hockey mask or carrying a chainsaw. it is a bunch of government insiders and the horror is their desire to build a huge gas pipeline. it's a pipeline that the people of puerto rico don't want, that
they say they don't need and will destroy the natural beauty of thousands of acres on the island. and this might be the scariest part. it's a pipeline that puerto rico doesn't even have enough natural gas to operate. the name of the pipeline is a gasalupto. it began in 2010. all that's missing is bad music and vampires. it features the puerto rican's tax dollars paid to consultants and lobbyists, hired by the government, including close friends and allies of the governor and his ruling party. its featured the government hiring a consulting team, a former high-ranking army corps of engineer team based in florida. the consultant convinced the army corps to take review of the project away from the local san juan, puerto rico, office. and where did they move it to? florida, right down the road
from where the consultants used to live and work. ballooning to nearly $1 billion. it featured huge protests and marches by puerto rico people against the pieline and public opinion polls say they strongly oppose the project. its featured pire supply experts noticed one important flaw, just as consultants, countless technical experts, environmentalists and scientists and i have insisted to the army corps all along that the only current source of natural gas was too small for a pipeline to even work. and finally, it even featured after tens of millions of dollars spent the governor appointing his own commission to make recommendations on how puerto rico can make better use of natural gas to meet its energy needs. the commission, appointed by the very governor who dreamt up the plan, made three
recommendations. none of them, i repeat, were them, not one. actually, they discarded it and called it unviable. finally, the people of puerto rico thought the monster must be dead. we need to stop sending tax dollars to government insiders. we can stop worrying about our environment. we can stop worrying where in the world natural gas for a billion dollar pipeline will come from. but that's not how horror movies work. the governor said that it is still alive. why? because the governor of puerto rico claims that the assistant secretary of the army who oversees the army corps of engineers has asked him personally not to withdraw the permit application. assistant secretary darcy wants him, the governor, to wait a while before pulling the plug. which is already on life support for this monster. personally, i find this hard to believe. i don't know why an assistant
secretary of the army would want to keep a monster alive that is unneeded, unwanted, insider boondoggle that isn't even wanted by the regime that proposed it in the first place. but is it true and how could this be? and i expect answers just like i expect answers on my ongoing request to the army about how the army corps of engineers has handled this application and why the review was moved away from their employees in puerto rico to a closer to a bunch of consultants who used to head their office in florida. when it comes to this, enough is enough. like in most bad monster movies, it has been almost impossible to believe from the very first scene, a silly, unnecessary waste of time and money. it's time to roll the credits and declare this monster dead once and for all.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. coble, for five minutes. mr. coble: thank you, mr. speaker. ask unanimous consent to revise and extend, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. coble: i stand today to honor the legacy of one of the greatest friends america has ever known. one who died recently at the age of 98 in his home country of denmark. whom i have known personally for more than two decades was a dane and american by virtue of his american mother. a loyal husband, a doting father, a brilliant businessman and a leading figure in the development of the -- of modern globalized marketplace. i initially met mr. muller, mr. speaker, in his copenhagen office. we spoke to 35 to 45 minutes and it appeared to me that i was in the presence of a truly great man. mr. muller loved america. his u.s.'s -- his u.s. flag
owns the largest flag fleet serving our military today. in fact, these u.s. flag vessel employ more american mariners and have delivered more of the critical material to supply u.s. troops in the iraq and afghanistan conflicts than any other carrier. and the same is true of humanitarian aid and every other category of government cargo carried by u.s. flagged commercial vessels. he believed in the mission and basic goodness of america and he demonstrated that belief throughout his life. mr. muller, mr. speaker, was born in denmark in 1913. he grew up in the shipping industry that his father, arnold p. muller, had started in 1904. in 1940, after the occupation of denmark by nazi troops, all the company's vessels in international waters were ordered to neutral ports and a
third of the fleet sought refuge in ports controlled by the united states. mr. muller traveled to new york soon after the occupation and ran the operations from there through 1947. allied forces requisitions the fleet and most were lost to germany in the most devastating loss to merchant life in history. at the conclusion of the war, mr. muller returned to denmark and continued building a global business empire, becoming c.e.o. of the group in 1965. in 1991, mr. muller wrote a letter to then u.s. secretary of defense dick cheney highlighting the long-standing connections between america and mersk. mr. muller wrote, quote, it is and always has been a strong advocate for uninhibited free trade and the personal of freedom consistently enuciated
by the united states and denmark. our entire organization and especially mersk line limited will be ready to serve any time should that be desired, closed quote. mr. muller stepped down as c.e.o. in 1993 but remained chairman of the muller group until 2003. even through the last few months of his life, however, mr. muller went to work every day, walking up five flights of stairs to his office. through his vision and leadership, mr. muller built the largest container shipping company in the world but never abandoned his love and appreciation for the united states and its people. over 70 years he partially cultivated and sustained a valuable partnership with the united states, one that continues to support and advance our commercial and national security interests around the world. finally, mr. muller was a citizen of denmark, indeed the
world, but he will always have a special place of respect, admiration and appreciation from the people and the government of the united states. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. in this time of extreme weather events, our hearts go out to victims of the storms, wildfires, power outages, torrential downpours, the winds, trees crashing into homes. it makes our heartache thinking of the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people in sweltering heat without electricity. beyond our shores we see this extreme weather is global in scale such as the flash floods that killed hundreds in russia this last week. we must pause, shutter, feel sadness for those families. for many the instinct is to
help people rebuild and reconnect. but the nation's elected leaders should do more than comfort those in distress and try to help people recover. as policymakers, shouldn't we act to try to prevent the next catastrophe? some of this is relatively simple and straightforward. even if potentially controversial. don't relocate people right in back in the same flame or flood zone. we know they'll be ravaged by fewer and flood. at a minimum, we shouldn't have the federal government pay to put people right back in harm's way. this discussion is part of flood insurance reform and national disaster policy that i personally been working on for decades. we've made some progress, but not nearly what we should. you would think we would stop making it worse, yet, we allow more and more people to move
into the flame zone, seeking to live with nature, and these people then expect government to prevent nature from doing what it's done for eons. in most cases, the fires in these areas mostly cannot be stopped, but we make the next fire worse by suppressing nature's natural fire cycle. until this is' so much fuel in the forest -- until there's so much fuel in the forest that the inevitable next forest burns longer and more furiously, putting more at risk. the more people permitted or even encouraged to build homes and live in an area that cannot be defended is a prescription for disaster. it's an example of political malpractice, a head in the sand attitude that many today in this chamber have regarding climate change, rising sea level and weather instability, which are all completely predictable, foreseen consequences of carbon pollution.
it's being played out in a variety of areas. we're watching oceans become more acidic, bleaching and killing coral reefs which are the rain forests of the sea. shouldn't we be do something to try and prevent it? what will it mean to our communities with more instability, hotter temperatures? 23,383 all-time heat records this year. . the worst example is legislation in north carolina which already passed the state senate and working its way through that would prevent the state and local governments from planning based on the best scientific evidence about accelerating pace of sea level increase. in congress it's notable that one of our major parties has firm opposition to even using
the word climate change let alone plan for it happening. it's not an energy policy to promote more carbon pollution and lavish support for old fossil fuel technology, or to claim climate science is a hoax. that's the mindset that put at risk replacement of a vitally needed slight -- satellite providing climate data. with all the signs, horrific events, and high stakes how can we as policymakers not at least give weight to the advice of the vast majority of scientists? i'll tell you this current generation of politician will be asked by their grandchildren what could you possibly have been thinking? indeed i'll wager that some of today's policymakers, even the most obtuse and dogmatic, will live long enough to regret their hostility to science and their
shortsighted devotion to politics of the moment over the future of the planet and of their very families. they are like king kanute who ordered the tide not to come in until it washed over its feet. unlike the king, today's policymakers could do something about it. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. forbes, for five minutes. mr. forbes: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, several days ago i was one of only a handful of members of congress who actually sat in the supreme court and listened to five justices debate and say that they believed that the president's health tax was constitutional and i watched them debate the four justices who believed it was not constitutional. and because one more justice believed it was constitutional than the four that believed it was not constitutional, my friends on the other side of the aisle believe that we should now step back and do nothing and
just allow this health tax to be imposed on the american people. we reject that suggestion. and the reason we do is because today the number one issue in the american people's minds is the economy, and the number one concern they have about the economy is the loss of their jobs. and yet we have watched as this administration has had 41 straight months of unemployment in excess of 8%. we have watched as their policies have delivered a net loss of 473,000 jobs, and we are about to unleash three enormous job killers on the american public. in just a few months, we will increase taxes on the american people if we refuse to extend the bush tax cuts, which will cost thousands of jobs. and yet our friends on the other side of the aisle said we should step back and do nothing. we reject that notion. in just a few months based on legislation, this president approved and siped into law, we -- signed into law, we will have
massive defense cuts as the secretary of defense says will cost us 1.5 million jobs, and our friends on the other side of the aisle said we should do nothing and let that come on the american people. we reject that notion. finally, mr. speaker, as this health tax gets ready to be imposed on the american people, based on the congressional budget office, it will cost 800,000 jobs. our friends on the other side of the aisle say we should take no action. we reject that notion. and the reason we reject it is because the american people realize that as we take an action to repeal this health tax, we are setting a new course for health care in america. as we set a new course for health care in america, we begin to do what the american people want us to do and set a new course and new direction for america. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. boy, my friend from virginia
could not be more wrong. what exactly are the house republicans trying to accomplish with today's 32nd repeal vote of health care? one of the first votes republicans brought to the floor when they became the majority in january of 2011 was to repeal the health care insurance reform in its entirety. that bill passed out of the house on a virtual party-line vote, so you think republicans would move on to the real challenges facing our economy. like unemployment and the expiration of individual and business tax cuts. in the face of the supreme court ruling declaring health insurance protections in the affordable care act constitutional, house republicans are not repealing that earlier vote but instead setting up to repeat it. they have become so ideologically immovable that they can think of no more constructive solution than to simply replay this political theater. 56% of americans say it's time to move on. to the true pressing challenges facing our nation. according to the kaiser family
foundation poll, a quick review of those challenges shows the republican house majority has not even tried to address them. let's start with the very real threat of expiring tax cuts, creating a drag on our economy. there are actually a number of already expired or expiring tax cuts including the alternative minimum tax which could affect 34 million americans. the payroll tax cut affecting 160 million americans and numerous businesses, including the bush tax cuts which expire later this year. all combined the expiration of those tax cuts could add up to a $4,000 per household bill on americans. so far the house republicans haven't felt the urgency to hold a single vote to extend any of those tax cuts. how about the medicare doc fix? if congress doesn't extend the sustainable growth rate patch, medicare and tricare doctors will see mother than a 27% cut in their reimbursements, causing many of them to stop seeing patients. millions of seniors and military
members and retirees could lose access to their doctors. not a single vote has been proposed by the republicans to stop that from happening. then there's the debt ceiling, without action the nation will once again risk preaching its statutory limits, triggering a historic default. last summer we achieved a bipartisan agreement to raise that ceiling and lower the deficit at the same time, warding off the effects of default. but not before house republicans pushed us to the brink. resulting in the first-time ever downgrading of u.s. credit. the american people don't want a repeat of that sad chapter in our history and our economy certainly cannot afford it. rommed reagan new the value of insuring america's commitments. he raised the debt ceiling 18 times with no conditionality. what about a comprehensive jobs bill? after 27 straight months of private sector job growth, cleaning up the mess president obama inherited, the pace of u.s. job creation has begun to
slow in the wake of instability in european markets. before the july 4 holiday we achieved a rare feat for this congress, passing a re-authorization of the transportation bill giving a much needed jolt to the construction sector. but we can and should do more for our energy sector, manufacturing, health care, and more. instead of focusing on jobs, which they claimed in the last election was their focus, republicans are creating a sense of deja vu all over again by staging a repeat of the health care lee form -- reform. last in this political pandering is the fact that the affordable care act is working. seniors have fallen in the prescription drug doughnut hole saving of $651 this year alone. almost 13 million americans are eligible for rebates averaging $151 from their insurance company thanks to new requirements in the bill. premiums for medicare advantage are down 7% for the first time
ever. and benefits are up and enrollment is up 10%. medicare is on track to save $200 billion by 2016 pursuant to the act without one benefit being cut. in fact, benefits improving. mr. speaker, the house majority is selectively ignoring those improvements to justify this repeat of its repeal vote. with so much to do, with american businesses and families waiting for tax predictibility, with the economy facing the impending fiscal cliff, with almost four million people still searching for poiment, house republicans are offering more of the same and sadly it's not enough. americans need real solutions to real problems. let's get on with them. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, for five minutes. mr. shimkus: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i come back on the
floor as i have almost weekly throughout this entire congress two years to talk about the issue of high - level nuclear waste and what are we to do about it. i am really -- i really applaud my colleagues who joined me on june 6, 2012, on an amendment to a spending bill. it was a bipartisan vote. 326 members of congress supported finishing the scientific study on yucca mountain. that's the money that we had appropriated that senator reid and president obama did not spend the money for the scientific study, then in the last two cycles senator reid has been blocking additional money for finishing the scientific study. 2828 republicans joined me. 98 democrats joined me to really stress a point we have to finish this. this is -- yucca mountain has been a -- started in 1982 with the nuclear waste policy act. it was the defined location, it
is the defined location under current under the amendments passed in 1987 to not fulfill and not move forward is, in my estimation, breaking the law of the land. and who is complicit in this is our friends on the other side and the president of the united states. now, how does that affect the rest of the nation? and the senators involved and members involved? we compare the current side of yucca mountain to -- site of yucca mountain to where nuclear waste is located around the country. yucca mountain currently has no nuclear waste on site. we have already spent $15 million over 20 years trying to finish this project. it would be stored 1,000 feet underground. it would be 1,000 feet above the water table. and it would be 100 miles from the colorado river. let's look where we have nuclear waste. nuclear waste is defined by a lot of different titles. some is just spent fuel from our
nuclear utilityities. a lot of our nuclear waste is defense waste. reprocessed weaponized uranium or the chemicals needed to affect that. so we have a -- effect that. so we have a department of energy location, idaho national lab, how much waste is there right now? we have 5,090 canisters on site. waste stored above the ground and in pools. 500 feet above the water table. and waste is 50 miles from yellowstone national park. a major tourist destination for many of our citizens throughout this country. so then we look at the -- this is a senate issue. not a house issue anymore since the house is on record, especially with this vote this year, of 326 of our colleagues in support. where are the senators? the last time i came to the floor i talked about the state of missouri and senator mccaskill undecided after being a u.s. senator for 5 1/2 years.
when i turned to montana, a neighbor of idaho, another undecided senator -- can be imagine being a u.s. senator for 5 1/2 years, having nuclear waste in the state next to you and never have a position on what do we do with the final position on nuclear waste? whether this nuclear waste is spent fuel or in our defense industry, a place like hanford, washington, where we have millions of gallons of toxic nuclear waste that's designed to go to yucca mountain. could a u.s. senator in 5 1/2 years say i think yes or i think no? why is that important? you look at the important tally over the past year and a half trying to identify where senators stand. we have 55 senators who support moving forward on yucca mountain. we have 22 question marks, one of them being senator tester from montana, and then we have 23 identified no votes. really the close debate, you
need 60. if we can move senator mccaskill and senator tester, that brings us to 57 senators. and really a game changing position to resolve this issue of high level nuclear waste which is pretty much throughout the entire country. in my own state, my colleagues here on the floor with us, state of illinois, we are the largest nuclear generating state in the country. we have six locations, 11 reactors. some right on lake michigan. wisconsin, nuclear power plants, right on lake michigan. michigan, nuclear power plants right on lake michigan. would you rather have high level nuclear waste in the desert underneath a mountain or would you rather have it next to lake michigan? or 50 miles from yellowstone national park? i think the answer is simple. this is -- this has become
politicized because the majority leader of the senate and his partner this crime, the president of the united states, it's time for us to move on good public policy. identify, centrally locate and store high-level nuclear waste underneath a mountain in a desert. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from wisconsin, ms. baldwin, for five minutes. . ms. baldwin: thank you, mr. speaker. thanks to the affordable care act roughly 17 million american children with pre-existing medical conditions can no longer be discriminated against, be denied health insurance by insurance companies. and yet, rather than bringing focus to the key tasks of creating jobs and strengthening the middle class in america, my republican colleagues want to tear up the health care law. they want to rip up the
independent decision by our supreme court, by justices appointed by presidents of both parties, binding the affordable care act is on constitutional footing. they want to start over again, putting the coverage of those millions of children i just spoke about at risk. this vote is personal. health care is personal. when i was 9 i had a serious childhood illness. i spent three months in the hospital. my grandparents, who were raising me, found that their family insurance didn't cover me. they made great sacrifices to help pay for my care, but if that weren't enough, when my grandparents then looked for insurance that would cover me, they couldn't find coverage at
any price. i was considered one of those kids with a pre-existing medical condition. never mind that i had fully recovered from my illness. no child should ever be denied coverage for that reason. i grew up believing that no family should have to go through what ours did. parents or grandparents shouldn't have to worry, shouldn't have to lay awake at night worrying about whether they can provide for a sick child or whether an illness might bankrupt their family. families now know that insurance companies can't discriminate against their children based on a pre-existing condition. turning back the clock so insurance companies can once again deny children access to care is simply wrong. it is time that we all move forward. it is time that we work together. it is time to make this
affordable care act work for the american people. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg, for five minutes. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. despite talk of political gridlock in d.c., republicans and democrats can't can at least agree on -- can agree at least on one thing, the economy is in rough shape. the unemployment rate has not gone below 8%, causing worry, uncertainty and frustration for many families living in michigan and across the u.s. but unfortunately things can still get worse. it's time for president obama and the senate to stop pushing their failed agendas and start applying commonsense policies that work. my republican colleagues and i in the house have been listening to the american people and remain committed to policies that spur job creation, reduce costs and
restore power back to the people. last month's employment report showed that millions of americans still are without a job and the unemployment rate is stuck at 8.2%. meanwhile, the anemic job growth is even worse in my district where some areas show an unemployment rate of over 9%. nationwide, the rate of real unemployment, which includes the unemployed, the underemployed and those that want to work but have given up looking now totals 14.9%. making matters worse, the number of weeks it takes a worker to find a job has more than doubled since president obama took office. is this hope and change? but it's not just the unemployment numbers which paint a grim picture of our economy. government spending is out of control. with 84 days left in the fiscal
year, the government has already spent its way into another $1 trillion deficit. despite this out-of-control spending, the senate hasn't bothered to pass a budget in more than three years. since that time, the federal government has added more than $4 trillion to our national debt. families, businesses in my district and across the country know they can't spend more than they make which is why they create budgets and why they sometimes have to make tough choices to prevent from drowning in debt. they get it, but sadly their president and senate still refuse to look at the facts. but they also refuse to listen to the american people. according to the polls, americans and especially those in my district, are angry of having a government takeover of health care and the largest tax increase in history. health care coverage is already
too expensive for many families in my district, and this health care takeover will not only make it more expensive but put federal bureaucracy between them and their doctor. on top of that, it will hinder job creators from hiring by requiring them to either offer costly government mandated health insurance or pay a steep fine. so far my colleagues and i in the house have taken 30 floor votes to repeal, defund and dismantle the law. after it's gone, we can start over with commonsense reforms that will return choices to the patients and not burden job creators with higher costs, new regulations and more uncertainty. it's obvious to the american people that the president's policies are failing and making the economy worse. instead, they want the government to stop taxing them more, stop creating new harmful regulations and stop coming between them and their doctor. house republicans have been
listening. that's why we will continue to work on repealing this unfavorable and costly health care law. it's why we already put forth a balanced responsible budget and it's why we put together a plan for american job creators, to create an environment which small businesses can grow and hire and where health care is affordable again. currently there are 27 bipartisan jobs bills that have been passed by the house and are languishing in the democrat-controlled senate. my hope is that the president and senate stop talking to the american people and start listening to them and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: thank you, mr. speaker. another day, mr. speaker, another wave of attacks by insurgents in afghanistan.
"the new york times" reported yesterday that the taliban killed five police officers with a roadside bomb in what it calls a relatively peaceful province in central afghanistan. separate attacks in kandahar led to the deaths of three officers with six civilians wounded. a motorcycle bomb took the lives of several more people in hell man province on sunday -- helmand province on sunday night. and yet another motorcycle bomb in northern afghanistan monday wounding 26 with 10 in critical condition. and a deeply disturbing video is making its way around the internet showing a 22-year-old afghan woman being brutally executed by the taliban over accusations of adultery. almost 11 years after our military occupation began, the situation in afghanistan is
clearly abysmal. our troops are in danger. afghan security forces are in danger. innocent civilians are in danger. nearly 11 years ago we went to war with the goal of defeating the taliban and yet the taliban is alive and well. winning recruits, operating in the shadows and ruling by terror throughout afghanistan. i'm not saying that ending the war and bringing our troops home will stabilize afghanistan overnight but i am saying the longer we continue with our military operation, the more we breathe life in the very forces we're trying to defeat. it is the resentment of our boots on the ground that is helping to sustain the taliban. there are clearly urgent humanitarian needs in afghanistan, mr. speaker, and we have a moral responsibility to help meet them.
this is one of the poorest nations on earth with infrastructure needs, children who need schools and malnutrition that must be addressed. but deploying thousands and thousands of troops for more than a decade is not the way to meet these challenges. our military is not trained or equipped to do that kind of work. for pennies on the dollar, mr. speaker, we can have a true civilian surge. investing in development aid to improve the lives of the afghan people. we could give usaid a fraction of the $10 billion a month we spend on the war in afghanistan and we could do a world of good. this approach isn't just the right thing to do. it isn't just a moral imperative. it's the smart national security strategy as well.
on the other hand, the existing strategy of invasion and occupation has not served us well. the afghanistan and iraq war have cost us precious lives, in taxpayer dollars, in global integrity. mr. speaker, it's time to do the smart thing. bring our troops home and in return invest in the hopes and future of the afghan people and to do it now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. indiana prison inmate ryan grimminger collected unemployment benefits during his two-year sentence in the county jail for a drug crime. he collected $14,000 of taxpayer money. he was in jail and the
government continued to pay him any way. only in america will we pay people in jail because they are unemployed. grimminger should not have obtained money from honest american taxpayers but he did. government is becoming incompetent when it comes to paying unemployment benefits. according to cnn the federal government overpaid $14 billion in unemployment benefits just last year. that means 11% of all jobless benefits paid out were not supposed to be paid to those individuals. those overpayments that should have gone to people in need were sent by government to those who didn't deserve any money. you see, not all payments are to honest people who are looking for jobs and are out of work. inmate grimminger's case is bad, but there's more. a convicted killer, murderer in a california prison was receiving at least $30,000 in unemployment checks. the murderer made sure that his
family and his friends cashed his checks while he was locked up. so each month his family fraudulently cashed his $1,600 check which they would then deposit in his jail bank account. guess where it went next, mr. speaker? he shared the jail money with some of his low-life prison gang members while he was in the joint. there's more. the federal government reportedly sent a man $515,000 in payments over 37 years. 37 years, mr. speaker because he was supposedly unemployed. 37 years of unemployment benefits for anyone is nonsense to me. but who exactly were they sending that money to in this case? a dead person who died 40 years ago. no wonder he wasn't working, mr. speaker. he wasn't around. we count on our government to spend our tax dollars wisely. but is sending money to those
not qualified to obtain taxpayer support. prison inmates and dead people. $14 billion is a lot of money in anybody's book. in the private sector if a business misappropriated $14 billion, the people in charge would be fired or go to jail. not for government agencies. these overpayments and wasteful incompetent spending really don't shock and surprise americans any more at all. there's so much waste of taxpayer money that we have become accustomed to it and we actually expect government to waste money. too big, too wasteful, too incompetent and too inefficient. but the real problem is not waste but the size and inefficiency of government. we're moving to a society that's just another european nanny state where government is bigger, bloated and controlling. the government says it will provide all our needs if we just turn over more power, authority and money to government and government agencies. now, mr. speaker, does anybody
ever really get warm fuzzies when we hear about government programs like the post office, fema, the i.r.s. or t.s.a.? i don't think so. government doesn't do things better. it does things more expensive low and wastefully. and government promotes a concept of more dependence on government, not independence. we in congress need to realize the obvious, that unlimited out-of-control government is not the answer to our problems, but until we get a grip on government and move to a constitutional concept of limited government, we should expect and demand more accountability from the people that are in charge of the people's money. . with hard economic times affecting the unemployed, we cannot tolerate wasteful spending by government bureaucracies. 8.5% unemployment nationwide, 11% in the hispanic community, 14% in the african-american
community, 14% for returning military from iraq and afghanistan. and 50% unemployment for recent college graduates. we should demand that when government helps those, we as a society say it should help. government does so properly and efficiently and in a dignified way. more dead people will continue to receive taxpayer money that should go to people that are at least alive. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen, for five minutes. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. the passage and implementation of the affordable care act is the culmination of american political journey that started a century ago with teddy roosevelt, 1912, with the bull moose party. also a republican. and picked up years later by harry trueman and other presidents, including richard nixon, another republican. the most recent groundwork for
reform was played in part by the former republican presidential candidate robert dole as an alternative to hillary clinton's plan. i commend them for championing the concept of the individual mandates. back when it wasn't quite as unpopular on their side of the aisle. the history of reforming our nation's health care system is a strong one. that historically has been championed by lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum until this congress. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have wasted hours upon hours debating and voting upon the various versions of the legislation that would repeal the affordable care act. my colleagues know that these initiatives are fruitless. they know that voting over and over and over again more than 30 times total on measures to repeal the affordable care act is a waste of time. but they keep calling for these votes. do you want to know why? because they want to distract the american public from the fact they are so committed to unseating our president, barack obama, they haven't passed any effective jobs creation
legislation since they took majority of this house in 2010. the supreme court of the united states upheld the constitutional ity of the affordable care act. earlier today a gentleman from virginia said it was just 5-4. bush v. gore was 5-4. we accepted that the person who lost the votes lost florida. millions of americans who were previously uninsured our underinsured have access to affordable high quality health care. in fact the number of americans uninsured is equal to the population of 25 of the 50 states. thanks to the affordable care act millions of americans and small business vs. already benefited from lower health care cost, increased access to preventive care, and stronger patient protections. thanks to the affordable care act, 12.8 million families will receive rebates that total over $1 billion from insurers next month in august because the law requires companies to provide value for the premium dollar.
never before has that happened. community health centers in my district have received over $10 million to deliver health care services to the impoverished. women no longer are considered a pre-existing condition and insurance companies can't charge them more, which they did by 40%. medicare beneficiaries now have access to preventive care and services without any co-pay. 64,000 people in my district go from uninsured to insured. 42.5 million seniors nationwide receive one or more preventive care treatments in 2011. and the doughnut hole is being closed. 50% discounts on covered brand name generics. annual lifetime caps on health care covered are now illegal, many insurance companies can't kick you off the plan just because you get cancer or an accident or have a heart attack. our children are protected because insurers are prevented from denying coverage for
children under 19 with pre-existing conditions. this means 17 million children are protect interested discrimination. young adults can remain on their parents' insurance until they are 26, providing some protection in this uncertain job market. it's now affordable for small businesses to provide insurance to employees. the tax credits cover up to 35% of the cost of coverage and will go up to 50% in 2014. in fact, in 2011, 360,000 small employees used the small business tax credit to provide health insurance for two million workers. one of the most misleading arguments is the penalty will be assessed on those financially able americans who choose not to purchase the insurance, thereby not taking responsibility for their health care being. responsibility that's one of the key notes of the republican side. if the uninsured person in my district gets into a car accident or comes down with an aggressive illness, they are taken to a public hospital in memphis called the med, they treat everybody, and when they take care of those people, the property owners pay for it
through higher property taxes or insurance if you have it because -- the time and effort put in by nurses and doctors at the med aren't free. the medical devices and supplies the med used to street those uninsured people aren't free. every single resident pays for those services when a person seeks emergency service there is and the taxes go up. people who choose not to buy insurance for themselves and their families, even with the federal government, providing incentives and credits who do so are irresponsible free riders and it's the free riders that the other side's trying to talk about. not the consciencious and responsible people who take control of their own lives and their own destiny. not taking responsibility for the health of yourself and family is reckless. the free riders have been a burden on the health care system for too long and time to take spot for their actions and health. this penalty which will be equal to no more than the premium is the way we do it. it's long past time we implement the health reform championed by
teddy roosevelt. it's time americans realize and take advantage of the right to quality health care. and long past time my colleagues stopped playing partisan politics and start working on behalf of the american people, not giant corporations once again. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. dold, for five minutes. mr. dold: mr. speaker, this week i welcomed 26 new citizens to this country. it was an inspirational event and i'm so proud that all they have been able to accomplish. these individuals have worked hard to become citizens and they are poised to go on and fulfill the american dream. there is no doubt that times are tough. and yet these individuals have persevered despite all of the obstacles. as families all over the nation are struggling, with a lagging economy, we must remain focused on job creation and economic growth. as part of my main street jobs
agenda, i'm focused on bringing opportunities such as stem education for our students and those looking for work. as part of this effort, i have co-sponsored the bipartisan, bicameral start-up 2.0 act. the united states is the higher education destine ailings for the world. -- destination for the world. this is a testament to the strength of these institutions and value of the degrees. but too often foreign students come here to learn and then have little choice but to return to their home countries after they are through. students with advanced degrees in science and technology, engineering and mathematics, are forced to go home with that knowledge, with the ideas and aspiration. aspirations that change the world and bring new technologies. many of them want to stay here to make something of themselves here in our country because it is still the best place for ideas to become realities. and what we do is we force them to go back to their own country. to compete against us here in
the united states. these ideas become solutions which in turn become job creating companies. according to a study by the national foundation for american policy, immigrants founded or co-founded almost half of the top 50 venture-backed companies in the united states. since our nation's founding, mr. speaker, immigrants have flourished along with our economy. america becomes a richer and more dynamic society by encouraging the best and the brightest from all over the world to set up shop here on our soil. that is why i'm honored to co-sponsor the bipartisan, bicameral start-up 2.0 act that will help get americans back to work. i encourage my colleagues to do the same. america becomes a richer and more dynamic society by encouraging the best and the brightest from all over the world to come here to our country. the people i welcomed as new citizens this week do not have time for gridlock in washington,
mr. speaker. the american public don't have time for gridlock in washington. we must move forward and find common ground to help the millions of americans who are looking towards their american dream. to help them get back to work. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for five minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, pardon me. mr. speaker, this message is only for persons who may get sick. if you will never get sick, this message is not for you. -n-o-t, not for you. only those who will get sick. mr. speaker, i hold in my left hand a copy of the affordable care act. i hold in my right hand the replacement bill that my colleagues across the aisle have been talking about.
this bill has passed the congress of the united states of america. it is more than 2,000 pages. it was condemned for being too long. which may explain the size of this bill. this bill has within it preventive care. this bill has within it a cap on administrative costs. you must spend 80% to 85% of the money that insurance companies collect on health care. this bill protects persons who are under 26 years of age as they can stay on their parents' insurance. this bill covers persons with pre-existing conditions. i had to read this bill, my constituents insisted that i read this bill before voting on it. and my constituents want me to read this bill, this is the replacement bill, and they want me to be sure that i understand
the replacement bill before i vote to repeal. so what i'd like to do now for all within the sound of my voice and viewing this, i want to read the replacement bill. i shall read the replacement bill -- let me just read half of it first. iish now read one half of the replacement bill. now i shall read the other half of the replacement bill. now, some of you will say, al, you read too fast. i didn't pick up all of that. so for those who listened slowly or those who may have missed it i shall now read the replacement bill in its entirety. that's the replacement bill. here is the bill that we can read. i'm going to ask that i be
allowed to place the replacement bill in the record. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask that persons consider the empirical evidence as well as the invisible evidence. when you weigh the empirical evidence against the invisible evidence, you decide whether we should vote to repeal. now, there may be some who can say, well, al, really i -- i'd just like to go back to the way things were. quickly go back to the way things were. gladys knight had a song titled "the way we were." here's the way we were in 2009, when we were considering replacement we were spending $.5 trillion a year on health care. that's a big number. that's $79,000 a second.
it was at that time 17.6% of g.d.p. we were spending $100 billion a year on persons who were uninsured. it was projected that by 2018 we spend $4.4 trillion which would have been 23% of g.d.p. which is $1839,000 a second. in my state of texas we have six billion people who are uninsured. in harris county where i have my congressional district, we have 1.1 million people uninsured. 20% of the state's children were uninsured. 50% of americans were uninsured. 45,000 persons per year were dying because of a lack of insurance. that's one person every 12 minutes. if you don't like that, call harvard. i got the statistics from harvard. the system was not sustainable. this is why we embarked upon producing this bill. so i beg that those who insisted that i read this bill before
voting, please understand that before you vote you ought to read this bill. and compare the two. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair will now recognize the gentlewoman from new york, ms. hayworth, for five minutes. . mr. hayworth: as a frequent rider on new york's mass transit system, i know how important the transportation system is. the m.t.a. alone transports more than 8.5 million commuters across metropolitan new york every day. in the district i'm privileged to serve, new york's 19th congressional district, which includes westchester, orange, rockland, duchess and putnam counties, the metro north rail system serves seven million
people every weekday. they lost benefits. commuters utilizing the mass transit portion have seen their credit drop from $230 per month to $125 per month. which means that they were computing costs have increased. in contrast, utilizing the driving and parking benefit have seen an increase to $240 per month. that's why i introduced the commuter savings act on june 29. this legislation would extend parity between the mass transit and the transportation tax credit. that would increase mass trapsity benefits from $125 per month to $240 per month. mass transit minimizes traffic congestion, reduces fuel consumption and limits wear and tear on our roads and bridges. it's really a great win for all of us even if we don't use mass transit.
so the commuter savings act will directly help more than 70,000 of our hudson valley neighbors and the bill is retroactive to january 1 of this year which will provide mass transit commuters for a full two years of certainty in their mass transit benefits. for the tens of thousands of hudson valley residents and millions of americans across the country who rely on safe and affordable public transportation and for all of us who enjoy the benefits of those fellow americans using mass transit, i urge my colleagues to join me and my fellow primary co-sponsors, representatives peter king and bob dold, in giving our mass transit commuters a break in these tough economic times. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, for five minutes. mr. ellison: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate everything
everyone has said about the defense of the affordable care act, but rather than striking a position or coming up with basically -- it was pretty humorous and entertaining by my good friend from texas, i appreciate his presentation, i just want to talk about a person. this is the person i want to talk about. this is a young lady from my district, in the prime of her youth, she's only 25. and i'd like to talk to her -- talk to you about her a little bit, mr. speaker. today we're going to vote to repeal the affordable care act for the 31st time. we're wasting two days debating a bill that has already passed a house and has no chance in the senate. rather than spend our time creating jobs, we spend it trying to take health care away from those who need it most. one of those people, mr. speaker, is an individual by the name of julie doyle. this is julie. this is julie. jewel owe's 25, as i said --
julie's 25, as i said, and her life has been filled with numerous roadblocks. julie had her first heart procedure at age 12, and for the last 13 years have been filled with many ups and downs, including losing her father when she was 15. despite numerous health issues, julie is still very active. captain of her softball team, captain of her tennis team, she's a student councilmember and active community volunteer. so as you can imagine, i think she's an amazing kid. of course she's not cade. she's a young woman now. but she's still quite an amazing member of our community. like many young people, her age, julie is dreaming of going to college, having a successful career. she wants to study business. her efforts were derailed about three years ago when she started having multiple system disorders and started blacking
out. there were days when she only had the energy to crawl from the bathroom, concussions, bruises, broken teeth became routine. just as her condition was becoming severe, her insurance was due to end. however, because of the affordable care act provision allowing young adults to stay on their parent's plan until age 26, julie was able to get the health care she needed. now, for the people who think it's so clever, so smart, so funny, i don't know what they think it is, to repeal the affordable care act, i urge them to think about julie. julie's worth it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will now recognize the gentlewoman from california, ms. roybal-allard, for five mins. ms. roybal-allard: this is day
two of the republican's misguided attempt to repeal the affordable care act. we have done here 30 times with the often misleading rhetoric that does not reflect the true benefits of the affordable care act. those against it are not speaking from mind. 167,000 uninsured constituents who for the first time will receive health insurance coverage when the law is fully implemented. and they are not speaking for the 7,000 young adults who can stay on their parent's insurance plans until they're aged 26. or the 510 small businesses in my district receiving tax credits to help maintain or expand health care coverage for their employees. colleagues who support the repeal of the affordable care act are also disregarding the needs of minority communities where millions suffer from persistent and life-shortening health disparities. in my large latino district, for example, thousands more of my constituents will have access to health care through the expansion of medicaid, the creation of health insurance
exchanges and through the laws expansion of community health centers. mr. speaker, my constituents do not want the affordable care act repealed. nor do the millions of americans across our country for which the a.c.a. has brought life-saving benefits. this is mostly true for women, seniors and those with disabilitied. under the affordable care act, being female is no longer considered a pre-existing condition. women will no longer have to pay highier premiums than men and prenatal care will be covered in this country. never again will our sisters, mothers, daughters have to choose between a mammogram or putting food on the table because these life-saving preventive health services will no longer require a co-payment. as for seniors, last year as a result of health reform, over 32 million seniors received free preventive health services and over five million seniors saved close to $4 billion on medicare prescription drug
costs as the doughnut hole closes. because obama cares, our families and neighbors with disabilities will no longer live in fear of reaching lifetime limits on their insurance or being excluded from coverage due to a pre-existing condition. mr. speaker, the affordable care act is already working for my constituents, for women, for minority communities and for seniors and people with disabilities. it is time for my republican colleagues to listen to these americans who do not want to lose their new health benefits. the supreme court has upheld the affordable care act. let's stop wasting time and taxpayers' money and find solutions to the other complex issues facing our country today. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the chair will now recognize the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, for five minutes. ms. brown: thank you. you know, talk about the poor should always -- will always be with us. but our job is to help raise the standards.
and i got to tell you, if it was not already invented, i would say this congress invented the word do-nothing congress. do nothing. today is the second day that we are debating repeal of the affordable care act. let me be clear. not one single person has come to this floor debating doing away it don't have insurance, because we have the best insurance. and in fact, my blood pressure is up. i went downstairs, because i have insurance, i was able to check my blood pressure and get some additional medication. and in fact, later i was able to go to the dentist because i have insurance. but what we're debating is you at home not having health care because we, everybody in this house, every member that's come to this floor, have health
care. you know, every single president since theodore -- franklin roosevelt, for 75 years, have tried to push some form of universal health care. and i want to thank president barack obama. and you know, they like to say, obamacare. i want to say president barack obama cares. president barack obama cares, and he was able to accomplish something. and let's be clear. the president proposes that congress disposes. so it has to be the congress. it was a democratic congress, democratic senate and the president that passed the bill. well, instead of discussing health care repeal, we should be debating v.a. construction.
that's one thing in my state. as of july 1, the v.a. paid an additional $500,000 to rent a portable operating room for a project that is 95% complete, but we haven't had a chance on the floor to take up v.a. construction. we have 31 times we have taken up repealing health care. i visited that facility last month, and i found out that it would have been a health safety not to expand the program for the veterans in that area. and often people say, what did the democratic house, president and congress do? well, we passed the largest v.a. budget in the history of the united states of america. we took care of the veterans. we had a budget.
we gave benefits to the caregivers and it goes on and on. to whom has -- god has given much, it is expected, and he expects us to empower the american people. jobs, health care, and basically do nothing is the label of this congress. the do-nothing congress. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. crowley, for two minutes. mr. crowley: i thank the speaker. today republicans in the house will bring up repeal of the affordable care act. we have seen repeal from them but not with respect to their so-called plan to replace. but i think i figured out what the g.o.p. wants to replace the
affordable care act with. hmm. here's what i assume must be the republican plan for health care in our country. chicken noodle soup. chicken noodle soup? many of our mothers and grandmothers told us that chicken noodle soup is a cure-all for anything. but i think the republican plan takes grandma at her word a little too literally. can't afford health care coverage for -- and need medical care? have some chicken noodle soup. been diagnosed with a serious disease and can't afford the prescription drugs you need to treat it? have some chicken noodle soup. well, at least you can rely on good old-fashioned chicken noodle soup. have a pre-existing condition like diabetes that lets your insurance company deny you coverage? that's ok. have some chicken noodle soup
and you'll feel better in the morning. the truth is it won't be all better in the morning. that's why it we enacted the affordable care act, to make sure that people get the affordable, quality coverage they need, that seniors can afford their prescription medications and that an insurance company can no longer deny you coverage because you have a pre-existing condition. i don't know why republicans want to go back to the day when chicken noodle soup was the only option for hardworking families who couldn't afford care. the truth is chicken noodle soup might be mmm good for lunch, but as a health care policy, it is mmm bad. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski, for three minutes. mr. lipinski: mr. speaker, we
have heard hours of impassioned speeches on the repeal of the affordable care act. most offending all or nothing and pitting us against them. but the american people are interested in the politics. they want us to focus on what we can do moving forward to make good health care more affordable for them without breaking the bank. . i believe the a.c.a. is flawed and voted against it in 2010. as i said then, the bill does not do enough to lower the skyrocketing costs of health care, cuts more than $400 billion from medicare. it's not fiscally sustainable over the long-term. and breaks with the status quo by allowing federal funding for abortions and abortion coverage. but we all agree there are good provisions. the bill expands access to care and improves health insurance by doing things such as prohibiting discrimination based on
pre-existing conditions and extending family coverage to children up to the age of 26. why, then, are we being asked to blindly throw out the good with the bad? or alternatively to simply let the law stand with no changes at all? a few months after i voted against the a.c.a. i had a town hall meeting in hickory hills i was asked by an opponent of the law if i would vote to repeal it. i said no. we need a fix not a repeal, that would take us back to the status quo. he said ok, repeal and replace, keep the good parts and make other necessary changes. i agreed and that's exactly what i have been working to do. i helped pass into law a bill to repeal the burdensome 107899 requirement for small businesses and -- 1099 requirement for small businesses and repeal the a.c.a.'s class act program which would have added tens of billions of dollars to the deficit. in addition i worked to pass legislation to ensure no tax
care money is spent for abortion under law and i continue to fight portions that violates americans' religious liberties. as -- i hope we can work on major fixes on the health care law. instead a bill was brought to the floor in 2011 which would have eliminated the entire law with no exceptions. i opposed that bill. i voted for a resolution instructing four house committees to develop replacement legislation. yet 18 months later there still is no replacement. instead we are again voting on repeal, period. and once again we all know this bill will pass the house and die in the senate. a star tribune editorial recently stated, if democrats want to save the ambitions of this law, they are going to have to find a way to write a truly affordable care act. the tribune concluded the republicans ought to engage
democrats in a real effort to contain the costs before the law takes full effect in 2014. i wholeheartedly agree. let's stop the posturing, roll up our sleeves, and work to make health care more affordable for all americans in a fiscally sound manner. that is what the american people want us to do. that is what we need to do. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from missouri, mr. clay, for three minutes. mr. clay: thank you, mr. speaker. i cannot believe we are asked for a 31st time to repeal the affordable care act. this isn't just a policy issue. this is a moral test. this is one of the great moral tests of our time. and those who vote to repeal the affordable care act are failing that moral test. they are utterly failing that test, paying health insurance premiums, and other health care
bills has become very difficult for american families. premiums have gone up each year and the cost of health care has escalated. insurance companies have shifted costs to coin sumers -- consumers through increases in deductibles and co-payments and decreases in covered services. low and middle income families need relief from skyrocketing health care costs. the a.c.a., the constitutional a.c.a. provides real relief to american families. first, the affordable care act provides direct financial relief to millions of insured american families that struggle to pay health insurance premiums today. the new law allows families to shop for a plan in new state insurance exchanges and it allows them to receive a big discount on their premiums.
the a.c.a. protects people from high deductibles, high co-payments, and unexpected gaps in their insurance coverage in three ways. it eliminates lifetime and annual limits on how much an insurance plan will pay for covered benefits, that means payments won't suddenly run out. it caps how much a person must spend each year on deductibles and co-payments for covered benefits. that means that families won't be forced to lose their homes because they get sick. and it provides additional help with out-of-pocket costs for lower income families. second, the a.c.a. expands affordable insurance options to families who could not afford coverage before. medicaid now will be available to families with income and below 133% of the federal poverty level. for people with incomes above that level and up to 400% of
poverty, the new premium tax credit will help them afford coverage. reducing the number of ininsured -- uninsured will reduce the hidden health tax that is imposed on insured families. we all pay higher premiums to pay for care of the uninsured. third, the affordable care act will slow the growth of underlying health care costs and help all americans. as i have said on this floor before, the a.c.a. is the greatest improvement in women's health in decades. under the a.c.a., millions of women are gaining access to affordable health care coverage. women will not have to pay more than men for the same insurance policy. and women will not be denied coverage because they are sick or have pre-existing conditions. women will be guaranteed preventive services such as mammograms and cervical cancer
screenings with no deductibles in co-pay. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from the united states virgin islands, mrs. christensen, for three minutes. mrs. christensen: just to set the record straight, i'm a family physician and the first female doctor in the congress. just less than two weeks ago the supreme court issued a final ruling that the health care law reform law is in fact constitutional, it is now the law of the land. despite this, today my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are revisitting old political battles instead of using the final weeks in this session to fully implement a current law that will protect the health of every american. instead of creating jobs during a time when unemployment benefits are set high. instraight ahead of strengthening the american economy and insuring taxes on the middle class are not raised. i heard the scare tactics and spin my colleagues are using to mislead the american public. the truth is this, repealing the health care reform bill would set this country back on a
course no american, republican or democrat, wants to go back to. with the list of horrible consequences, h.r. 6079 reads like a designer role. the republicans' repeal of health care reform will raise taxes on 18 million middle class people. more than six million young adults will lose the option of being covered under their parents' health plans. more than five million seniors will pay more in prescription drugs, leaving many having to choose between paying their rent, food, or their medicine. 129 million americans, 17 million of whom are children with so-called pre-existing disease, before health care reform included acne and pregnancy, may be denied health care coverage when needed. more than 32 million seniors and 54 million other americans will pay more for mammograms, annual wellness exams, and other often lifesaving preventive care that
detects cancers and diseases at the earliest stages. 105 million americans would again have lifetime limits on their health insurance which often puts health care services out of reach when people need it the most. and 50 million americans would be dropped from their insurance companies all together. many of the provisions of the law may never get funded that would close the shapeful gaps in health care that cause people of color, the core of every race and ethnicity, even those who may be republican or tea party, rural americans, and those who live in our nation's territories, to die in excess numbers from preventible deaths and cost the country billions of dollars every year. there's nothing appropriate or worthy in this attempt to repeal the affordable care act. it closes the doors to wellness that is now just being opened to over 30 million americans. it sets this nation on a path that is unhealthy and less financially secure, and it threatens our position of leadership in the world. even though we know this is just
an empty exercise, that it's not going anywhere, we do have the opportunity to stand together and do the right thing, not to let bad politics drive bad policy. when the bill comes up for a vote, vote no on h.r. 6079. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you very much. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until high noon
>> the affordable care act, calling it constitutional with the exception of one very small section. which came as a great surprise to republicans. i think many republicans were expecting and preparing for the supreme court to at least strike down the individual mandate to buy health insurance. and frankly outside the court there was a lot of disappointment among tea party opponents of the law. and i think what the house g.o.p. leadership is trying to do with this vote is do another symbolic gesture toward its base to say, yes, we are still very much opposed to this law, even though the supreme court upheld it. what they have been saying is their remedy now is political. they want to motivate their
base. they want to make sure that republicans turning out in november so that if the g.o.p. sweeps national elections they have a chance of actually repealing the law legislatively. >> so, speaker boehner and others talking about their decision to go ahead with this vote. what's been the reaction from the democrats so far as far as the attempt? guest: well, it's interesting because the supreme court's decision really upended the party's messaging war. and the democrats had been running with the line that the american people are tired of these votes. that there are bigger issues that the house of representatives needs to be addressing and spend more time on trying to repeal health care, a vote that will go nowhere, is really not what americans want. and so that's what democrats have been saying. in some sense polls show that that argument might see some traction with polls go to independents. we are still seeing, as you mentioned, americans are very closely divided on the
affordable care act. and that's been the case since it was passed. but political independents are saying now that they wish that leaders on the right would move on to other issues. so i think democrats are seeing that and they are gauging how they want to appear before november and they want to be the party of moving on. host: one of the things that you wrote in your story yesterday taking a look at this, was possibly democrats voting with republicans. one of the names mentioned is representative larry cassell of north carolina. guest: that's right. he's in a tough race there. originally he did not back the first repeal attempt. we should emphasize this is the second time that republicans have tried to repeal the entire health care bill. there have been more than 30 attempts to do various things to it. defund its provisions, get rid of this or that. a couple weeks ago in a local paper, he said he was going to
-- support repeal this time. and he also made headlines for refusing to endorse president obama. this is just a case of a blue dog democrat trying to doll his best for his re-election chances. certainly north carolina is a state. we see this happening more and more from democrats who are receiving pressure from the right who believe their seats are threat ened and he's doing the wes -- threatened and he's doing the best he can. host: another name mentioned yesterday is representative mike mcintyre of north carolina. guest: i believe they are neighboring districts. mike mcintyre voted for the first repeal. so we expected him to probably do the same this time. it's interesting, i don't think we are going to see any democrat who supported repeal the first time remain on that -- renege on that support this time even though it's likely at this point that most of the affordable care act will stand, barring a major
republican sweep of elections in november. but, yes, mike said he would be supporting repeal again. and we can expect to see that in his vote today. host: we have two that definitely -- indicated how they are going to vote. what about other democrats? are there some on the fence as far as how they'll weigh in? guest: we have been trying to break down that number and it's difficult because actually a lot of these blue dogs in tough races have been frankly avoiding our inquiries. they are not interested in talking about this, especially with national media. they are interested in coming to the floor, casting their vote today. and keeping it quiet. we were conferring with jim mathison of utah, joe donnelly of indiana who is running for the senate seat there. and neither of them are really -- are being very forthcoming about what they'll do. i host: the democratic leadership is currently i guess whipping the democrats to fall in line
against it? guest: that's right. they are whipping against it. and republicans are not currently whipping against it. they believe they are going to have more democratic defections than the last time around and that they will lose no members of their party. host: do we know what time this vote is expected? guest: i don't at this point. schedules haven't been released for today. you can expect quite a bit of probably heated debate beforehand. in the rule yesterday governing debate that was passed by the house, they allotted for about five hours of debate. which is quite a bit given they have done this before. and so i believe it will probably come in the early afternoon. host: that's lesiona who writes for "the hill. " serves as the beat writer. thanks for your time. >> house back at noon. we expect the health care debate about 1:30. twitter reaction, a retweet of david axlerod saying how repeal
and replace became repeal and repeal. house g.o.p. would go back to square one. le with rising costs and sinking popularity, even democrats are joining the effort to repeal obamacare. >> if you want to tweet, we'll look at some later. the #is aca vote. also facebook, facebook.com/c-span, do you support repeal of the 2010 health care law? 452 opposing the repeal. 426 in favor. log on and cast your vote. off the floor of the house and senate today the house agriculture committee is meeting all day to mark up the farm and food assistance bill. and they started at 10:00. they expect to run throughout the day. the house bill would reduce spending by $35 billion, as well as food stamp spending by $16 billion. over a 10-year period.
the senate recently passed its version of the farm bill by a vote of 64-35. house and senate need to compromise before september 30 when the current farm bill expires. again, live coverage now on c-span3. the house gaveling back in at noon eastern. up until then we'll bring awe conversation from this morning's "washington journal," a discussion on the tax policy implications of the 2010 health care law. host: the next hour and a half or so we'll take a look at the specific tax provisions that are located within the affordable care act. we have asked two gentlemen to join us to talk about these things. not only explain them but particularly explain what it means for you and me. so joining us right now is joseph henchman, with the tax foundation, serves as their legal and states projects vice president. and also joining us, donald marin of the urban brookings tax policy certainty, serves as their director. to both you gentlemen, welcome. question for both of you to
start up. how much of the success of the affordable care act is based on the tax structure it has? guest: most of it hasn't gone into effect yet. from a budget point of view, taxes were important for paying for the cost of the expansion of the health care coverage that the act envisioned. in addition there are several tax provisions intended to make concerns markets work better. most famously over the past week or so have been penalties for individuals to get insurance. there are also penalties or taxes however you want to describe them, for employers who do the same. also some tax provisions to help low and moderate income people get coverage. basically tax subsidies to help them cover some of the costs. host: joe? guest: there are also a lot of problematic provisions in the bill on the tax side. i think a lot of people support the bill or oppose the bill based on the health care provisions, but on the tax side you have some provisions which can be very problematic. the tax on cadillac provisions.
a lot of people are concerned about the individual mandate and how that will take effect. and the supreme court now called that a tax. as well as the new investment tax that goes to the medicaid payroll. host: as far as the structure themselves, you have had a chance to look at them, what else about the structure, particularly the tax structure, that strikes you? joe? guest: it's certainly not anything that i think most economists would have designed for a tax system. it relies a lot on -- let me give one example. there is a provision in there that if a small business has over 50 employees they have to provide health care. if they have less than 50 employees they don't. economists call this a cliff because if you have 49 employees you don't have to comply, once you cross the line and have 50 you do. that can create some very perverse incentives. if you have 49 employees, it's going to be a big decision to make that 350th hire. if you have 55 or 53 employees,
maybe you want to get rid of some of them to get bethrow the threshold. the tax code should not be encouraging people to make decisions like that. that's one example. there are a number of others in the bill. host: is that the employer mandate fee we are talking about? guest: right. which is different from the individual mandate we have heard so much about. host: you can talk about the structure or employer mandate and give your perspective as well. guest: the individual mandate. so there's a challenge of how do you encourage people to get health insurance in a world where we, the united states, want to have a significant private market and there is a lot of desire to have health insurance structured so you can't rule out people with pre-e pre-ex-ising conditions or charge them more. and it's difficult to do that without encouraging people to get health insurance. the economic principle behind having an individual mandate and backed by a tax is to encourage people to be in the pool. host: so the employer mandate as
it stands, can you add on to this, gentlemen, if you like, starts in 2014. it gives $2,000 per full-time employee if the work receives tax credit for premiums. it makes -- 50 full-time employees, fewer, the first 30 employees are excluded. so there is a lot of rigmarole there. can you help us make sense of that? guest: a lot of americans get their health insurance from their employer today. and there was a lot of concern if you start up a new system, exchanges that have subsidies behind them, some employers would drop coverage and send over to the exchanges and get subsidies. the idea was to create a disincentive for employers to do that. have them pay a fee, penalty, tax, whatever you want to call it if people they are not providing health insurance to end up getting subsidies from the federal government. and as you described there are a lot of bells and whistles around that in trying to target it to
the folks who congress most wanted. host: specifically 50 and below we are talking as far as employers are concerned. guest: the 50 and below there is a credit to help small businesses provide coverage. it's targeted small employers. 25. and separately there is a penalty an employer mandate on large businesses if they have folks who go into the exchanges. host: in a sense if i'm an employer i have 51 employees, 51 and up, what does that mean to me as far as my payroll? my checking? the things i have to do as far as economics are concerned when it comes to taxs? >> you have to provide coverage. if you don't, there's penalties associated with it. there's something i don't want to conflate. dr. marin has talked about the importance of providing incentives. those are in the bill. there's subsidies and incentives. we can debate whether those are good ideas or bad ideas. those are distinct from the penalties. there's both subsidies and penalties in this bill. they are not the same thing. host: the one we are talking
about is the penalty? >> it's both. y, the one we are talking about is -- yes, the one we are talking about is the penalty. host: the subsidy works how? >> a lot we have yet to see -- the bill has just been upheld as constitutional. we are really just moving towards implementation and it's new. there are provisions in the bill about how these are supposed to be in effect. but the health and human services department still needs to write regulations. the i.r.s. has to figure out how to implement this. whether states will participate widely. and the bill may change. we have an election this year. we have already repealed a few provisions of the law. more may come. host: so our guests are going to join us to talk about the tax provisions within affordable health care act. if you want to ask them questions specifically about that, now is your chance. here's the numbers to call. 202-737-001 for democrats. 202-737-0002 for republicans.
again, our focus at this time is to look the specific tax provisions. the i.r.s., donald marin, how does it change now? guest: over the last 20, 25 years increasingly congress calls on the i.r.s. not just to raise revenue bimeplementing the tax system but increasingly to be a tool for implementing social and economic policy. one of the main things the bill does is expand that role to the i.r.s.. the i.r.s. will be in a position both of distributing subsidies to employers and moderate income folks to get insurance. and imposing these penalties to discourage people from not having coverage and dispurge employers from not offering it. expanding will in kind of driving health care. >> henchman, is the i.r.s. prepared for this? >> i don't think they are. although they are hiring thousands of new agents to get ready for it. i think dr. marin is right in how he described -- how we have been making the i.r.s. less a collector of revenue and more an
instrument of social policy. something we are very concerned about. our view is that the tax code should just be used to raise revenue. it should not be used to encourage or discourage behavior or change people's behavior. quite frankly because the i.r.s. isn't good at it. the tools that they have, garnishing wages, auditing, enforcing, and so forth, those are very problematic when you use them to achieve certain social policies. they are very good for raising revenue, but there is a reason a lot of people are afraid of the i.r.s. and very concerned, especially about some of the privacy issues, of having the i.r.s. becoming the new implementers of the health care law. host: our guests with us for extended time today to talk about this. let's take calls. nebraska, carol on the republican line. good morning, go ahead. caller: thank you. my question is, if we have this law, why can't the person who
does not want to be involved and mandated to pay into insurance, why can't they sign a simple form stating that if they get sick, ill, or hurt in any way that they will be totally responsible for all the costs without government help? guest: whether people can sign a bill, waive their right in the future to come seek assistance. there's the view of congress was that needed to be enforceable in the future and that even if you could say they weren't going to get government support, the reality is the private sector has a lot of obligations to provide certainly emergency care and some other care to people who come to hospitals and other providers seeking it. as a result, an approach like that wouldn't be enforceable. host: washington, d.c. good morning. joe. democrats line. caller: mr. henchman, how are
you? guest: eam -- aim doing well, thank you. caller: i have two questions for you. the first is that the foundation is listed by source watch as receiving significant support from exxonmobil and from the coates family foundations and in fact was founded by of course as you know, donaldson brown, standard oil. so the question is, it is hardly an unreasonable leap to regard your organization as one that is devoted to protecting the interests of those large corporations and their tax privileges. and that if true, it seems in all honesty mr. henchman, likely to be true -- host: caller, let our guest respond, we'll have your follow-up. guest: what you said -- we were
founded by a lot of businessmen who were concerned about making sure that americans have access to good information. and our data is out there. our analysis is out there. you can judge it as you want. we get a lot of accolades from people across the aisle as having reputable, reliable work. and although we get funding from individuals and businesses and foundations, no one funder provides more than about 8% of our total funding. host: caller, you address that. what do you have question about as far ased affordable care act? caller: the affordable care act is mr. henchman just stated he should and his organization should, with regard to the a.c.a., be regarded on the quality of the data. well, the fact of the matter is that the foundation has been criticized by -- with regard to its data on such acts by the center on budget and policy priorities, by citizens for tax justice. host: we'll let that stand as we
want to continue our discussion. let's go to the individual mandate penalty that some of the callers had addressed and you guys have addressed as well. it starts in 2014 with a penalty of $9 a 5 -- $59. it jumps in $2015 to $325. in 2016 it goes to $695. guest: like many things congress passes it's a little complicated. in 2016 it will be the $695 and inflation adjusted or 2.5% of your income above a threshold up to a cap. whichever is higher. this is complicated. we have a new report on our website, you can find it from the homepage, that gives examples of family of different sizes at $25,000, $50,000, $75,000 and so forth and what that means in dollar terms. it's essentially anywhere from $695 to $2,000. low-income people with a
hardship can be exempted. there is a cap. the amount can vary a little bit. how we expect it will be implemented, just from massachusetts, which was the template for the national bill, is there will be a line on the tax form and it will say, please write in your health insurance account number or whatever. and the -- if you can't provide that, then you have to enter an amount on the penalty line or the tax line as it is now. host: how many people will actually be penalized or an estimation of how many people will be penalized? guest: c.b.o. has estimates. i don't have them at my fingertips. a relatively small number of people, couple of percentage of the population. guest: they estimate i think by 2020, it will raise about $4 billion a year. that's probably as good as a guesswork as there is. i think it will remain to be seen because they have upheld the penalty in part because it's low. it doesn't cover the cost of
insurance. you would always want to pay the penalty rather than get insurance. so it remains to be seen how people will react to that set of incentives. especially if health care costs continue to rise as they have in the past. host: just to be clear, it's not the case that you would always want to pay the penalty rather than get insurance, right? health insurance provides benefit to both and they have to do the balancing do they think the insurance they get is worth the cost as opposed to the penalty. host: what happens in someone decides to pay the penalty year after year? what eventually happens? aside from paying the fee, i guess. doing anything else happen to them? guest: they go each year without health insurance. they face this risk that something bad will happen to them. they'll have large health care costs. and that they'll then face the issue of do they pay it out of their own pocket? does a hospital pick it up as uncompensated care? or the government end up paying? host: how hard will it be to make the case for hardship exedges or how easy? guest: i don't know.
guest: i don't. i think they don't make it very easy, but at the same time the i.r.s. is limited in the things they can do to enforce collection of the tax. they can't garnish wages. they can't pursue criminal penalties. a lot of things the i.r.s. can normally do in collecting back taxes they can't do in this case. certainly no good lawyer or accountant would advise don't pay it, but a lot of the normal legal consequences that happen when you don't pay a tax will not follow for not paying the individual mandate. that raises a question, if we have 30 million or 40 million uninsured in this contry, people who have already made the decision that they do not want to buy health insurance in the current market, what will happen if they all pay the penalty instead of getting insurance? we'll still have this problem of people showing up at hospitals and getting care they are unable to pay for. is there going to be pressure to raise this penalty above what it currently is? and will that raise new
constitutional questions based on how it was upheld by the supreme court? host: ramsay, new jersey, jeremiah. republican line, good morning. caller: good morning. my question regarding two laws that are into the bill. one is will take effect in 2013 is a real estate tax. 15% if you sell your residence. the other point is in 2018 there will be a 40% excise tax. i don't know if you have any information on that. other than that i have -- that's all i have. wonder if you could elaborate on that. guest: let me start with the real estate one. this turns out to be a widespread misconception. what the act has it starts january 1 is a new tax on net investment income of high income folks. high income as the president has defined them above $200,000 for individual, $250,000 for married individual. capital gains, dividends, interest, royalties, all of
those. and the question is how will this apply to real estate? and the answer is when people sell their homes they do realize capital gains, but for the vast majority of americans, those capital gains are exempt from tax and would be exempt from this new 3.8%. it will only be an unusual person who has more than a $500,000 gain on their house and is above the income threshold that would face this 3.8 not 15% tax on just that increment of their capital gains. guest: let me add to that right now of course capital gains are taxed at 15%. at the end of the year the bush tax cuts expire and that will go up to 20%. and then this new tax will kick in and that will raise it further to 23.8%. we are talking about a significant increase on capital gains. likewise with dividends currently at 15% that's going to go up to about 39% with the expiration of the bush tax cuts. and this further 3.8% puts it over 40%. of course this is just the beginning.
massachusetts when they enacted their health care law, expanding coverage and paying for it out of the public budget, they ultimately had to raise their sales tax from 5% to 6.25% to pay for it all. the whole act is premised on the assumption it will reduce health care costs inflation going forward. if that turns out not to be the case, we'll see a lot of fiscal pressure to see some of these tax rates start going up. host: you mentioned 3.8%. one of the other things is a 0.9 medicare payroll tax on earned income in excess of $200,000 for individual, $250,000 for joint couple. can you put that into perspective as far as people who are going to pay that? guest: as it is today, folks know, you pay social security payroll taxes on your income, earnings up to about $110,000. in addition there is a medicare tax that's uncapped that applies to all your earned income. what the bill did was increase that tax rate by as you say.9%
for thokes who earn above the $250,000. a big tax in the neighborhood of $100 billion in revenue that will help pay for the health care bill. host: is that paid alongside the 3.8%? addition to that? guest: the difference is the 3.8% is just effectively a normal income tax. it goes into general revenues despite being named in the bill, having something to do with medicare that turns out to be untrue. whereas the payroll one goes into the medicare trust fund. guest: the caller asked about the 40% on excise tax about the cadillac plans. one of the ones that raises the most revenue. plans essentially offer too much coverage. and insurance companies that offer those plans will have to pay a 40% tax on the amount of coverage provided those plans a very hefty amount of money. and all these taxes together you can see how they would affect your ability. at our website we have a nice
tool where can you put in some information about yourself. we don't keep it of course. you can see how it will affect you. host: florida, barry, independent line. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i haven't seen this any place else. maybe can you do it. there's 21 new taxes in the a.c.a. bill. and it's going to affect middle class as well as the high earners. has anyone figured the total tax bill for someone that's in say the $100,000 income range? guest: it's tough to do. i would invite you to -- sorry for the plug torques go to our website. enter your information and see how all the taxes would affect your personal situation. but you are right. there are taxes that applyle to high income earners, middle income earners. almost everybody is affected by this bill. host: arkansas, kansas. for our guest, democrats line.
to boca raton, florida. barry, republican line. caller: i have a question. why would anybody who does not have insurance if they pay this penalty, if they pay the penalty, which they probably could get away with anyway, why would they ever buy insurance? since the moment they need insurance they could go buy it with no rejection at all? host: both of you. guest: the hope is that the penalty would be enough to induce some people to go buy insurance because they perceive the financial cost of that to offset for them inconvenience or cost of getting health insurance. in addition, the law has a variety of subsidies run through the tax system to help folks with moderate income defray some of the cost of the insurance. host: joe? guest: i agree with that. i think that's true. but i think the caller also
raises a good question that with tens of millions of people unemployed -- uninsured, also unemployed, oftentimes, sometimes the subsidy will not be enough. sometimes the medicaid expansion will not be enough to cover people, especially if a lot of states opt out of that program. so we may have a lot of people that can't afford insurance under the plan and instead pay the penalty. and maybe a few years down the line we'll realize that we've got instead of 30 million uninsured, we have 30 million uninsured who are paying a penalty. we still have the same problem that we started out with. i think that will create upward pressure on making the penalties harsher and maybe raising the taxes to provide more care. host: if i can put numbers on that. the congressional budget office in the most recent statements projects the bill would reduce the number of ininsured by about 30 million to 33 million people t also projects another 27 million or 28 million will remain uninsured under the bill.
this is not something that gets us to 100% coverage. host: lancaster, louisiana, louise independent line. caller: good morning. my question has to do with the tax and why are the illegals not subject to the penalty or the tax? and why are some corporations not subject to the taxes? or penalty? guest: with the illegals i believe -- illegal immigrants i believe that there is no carve out, is that correct? i think that's one of those things that floats around the internet. guest: i think they are also not eligible for some of the expansions in there. guest: if they are running it through the tax code, it will be everybody that files a tax return. a lot of illegal immigrants don't file tax returns. with employers there is just a decision made by congress as part of this bill that employers below 50 -- with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to a
lot of the penalties. some of those employers, dr. marin said earlier, eligible for subsidies to encourage them to provide coverage. and then -- of course the big question is, for me at least, personally, there is a lot of standardization of health care plans that will be offered by the states and by the insurance companies under this bill. right now we run the whole gamut. we have very high deductible plans and then we have the cadillac plans at the other extreme and everything in between. a lot of those extremes will be eliminated under this bill or at least strongly discouraged under the law. you have a lot of standardizations. a lot of concern about what will happen for people that really just want coverage in case of some catastrophic thing. certainly shows that that's primarily what americans are most concerned about with health care. the chance that they have -- they'll have to go to the message sigh room and run up a bill -- emergency room and run up a bill that will ruin their family's finances. if you just want to buy
insurance for that that doesn't come with the free co-pays and coverage for alt tests and preventive care and everything, this bill makes it harder. host: the health plans dorks they all get taxed? -- plans, do they all get taxed? guest: for the insurers there is a separate tax which will collect money from health insurance. in addition there is this tax end of the very expensive, so-called cadillac plan. for the average plan -- host: for the average plan what kind of tax are we talking? guest: don't know what the exact number is. guest: there are a lot of taxes. you add them all. there are a couple we haven't talked about. it's about $800 billion over 10 years. and it affects different people different ways. divide $800 billion by 300 million that's your average. host: as far as you talked about this cadillac plan, what sets it apart from other plans? guest: generally, it provides a lot of coverage. there's dollar amounts associated. it's about $10,000 for an individual.
about $27,000 for a family. if the plans is valued at that level, -- if the plan is valued at that level, then the insurance clp pay a tax. insurance companies will pass this tax along to the consumers. the corporations and businesses generally, they don't bear the economic burden of taxes, they pass them forward to shareholders and workers and employees. so that's what will happen in that case, i think. as i said that's a hefty tax on those plans. 40% presumably to discourage them and encourage plans that offer less comprehensive coverage. >> debate on the repeal of health care coming up at about 1:30 eastern. the house gaveling in next. final vote expected sometime before 4:00. ahead of work on health care, they will take up debate on a rule for the bill that governs domestic mineral oil -- mineral production. that will come up first this
afternoon. can you weigh in with your thoughts. tweer keeping an eye on twitter. the #a.c.a. vote. all right postings from tweet. it's not a boring day on the bill. g.o.p. house members will vote yet again to repeal the a.c.a. we call it political theater. john at berlin 63 tweets, 21 taxes in obamacare. government-run health care. is a train wreck. we'll keep an eye on twitter this afternoon and have more of those postings later. live house coverage here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. and the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, rabbi david algaza from forest hills, new york. the chaplain: god, from whom all blessings flow, bless this
assembly to steer this great nation to the prominence you bestowed upon her. the land where even a humble bicycle messenger can soar to serve in this whole, where every man has dignity and the capacity to prosper, where the ignorant can reach knowledge and the persecuted sanctuary. move it from finiteness to infinity, from constriction to ample tude, from isolation to leadership, from cynicism to faith. uphold its preeminence among the nations, for its message of freedom is beneficial to all men. let us pray for wisdom, not passion, for knowledge, not shallowness, for truth, not trend, for enduring enmity to allies and steadyfast stand against its foes. bring us the day when all men shall turn to one another in
pleasantness, when they combine, regardless of differences, in a union under your reign, as the profit zach ryea proclimbed -- proclaimed and the day god shall be one and his name one. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house her approval thereof. the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led today by the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen. mr. cohen: please join me. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from new york, mr. turner, is recognized for one minute.
mr. turner: thank you, madam speaker. fellow members, i am privileged to have had the honor of inviting rabbi david algazi here to lead us in the ben diction. rabbi algazi serves as the senior rabbi of the israel synagogue in forest hills, queens, a position he has held since founding the congregation in 1981. rabbi algazi has always had a commitment to academics, as both a student and a teacher. he holds multiple masters degrees and has served as a professor in all levels of academia. is he the former president of the association of rabbis of america and is the founder and president of the world committee for the land of israel. he has always been a strong advocate for the jewish community, in queens and throughout new york. and a supporter of the state of israel, rabbi algazi continues to fight to ensure its safety,
security and well-being. an important example of these effort is his work to educate the world about the current situation in iran and the threat it poses to israel and the united states. a scholar, educator and pillar of religious leadership in our community, he has been a terrific friend to me and has always been there for all those in need. and i thank you, rabbi algazi. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: madam speaker, late one summer night a few years ago, aboard a redeye flight back to houston i saw college students on the plane and expected the worst. i was wrong, however. as soon as the plane took off, these athletes broke out their books and they studied for the
rest of the flight. i was impressed by this group of considerate, smart, focused and driven student athletes. no surprise they were the baseball team from rice university. rice was named after massachusetts-born businessman william marsh rice. a transplanted yankee that was success envelope houston, texas. he chartered the rice institute. today rice university is the home of 5,000 students. its achievements make houston proud. artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis and space science, just to name a few. and the rice baseball team gives houston a baseball team we can be proud of. and just yesterday rice was named one of the top 100 universities in the world by the center for world university rankings. i want to congratulate rice president, his wonderful educators, his students for an amazing 100 years of excellence in education. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek
recognition? ms. chu: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. chu: after returning from iraq, john started college. he didn't pick a major right away. instead exploring different subjects. but he struggled. it was hard for him to focus and after what he'd been through, he couldn't relate to his classmates. soon he'd used up his g.i. bill benefits and couldn't afford to graduate. what john's story tells us is that even though we vigorously train our soldiers, we give veterans little guidance to succeed in school. so i'm introducing the student veterans academic counseling enhancement act, endorsed by the american legion, the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, and the veterans of foreign wars. this bill provides regular one-on-one academic counseling to g.i. bill students no matter where they go to school and it tracks veteran graduation rates to help ensure academic and career success. this student veterans act will
ensure taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly while helping veterans graduate and get good jobs. we owe it to those who sacrificed so much for us, our veterans. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from the great state of michigan seek recognition? >> address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, in upholding the president's health care law, the supreme court identified the law as a $675 billion tax increase on america's working families. and reminds us that we cannot depend on courts to fix the mistakes that congress has made. i know something about health care. i've been a doctor for 30 years, taking care of patients in northern michigan. i know the president's plan is not solving our health care problems. in fact, it's making them worse. mr. benishek: the law hurts seniors by cutting more than $500 billion from medicare. the law creates a board of 15 washington bureaucrats to decide how to reduce medicare costs.
the law contains more than 13,000 pages of new regulations that will suffocate our small businesses. the president's law never addressed rising health care costs. america has a great health care system, but the problem is it costs too much. i recommend we enact a step by step approach that lowers cost through free market competition and strengthens the doctor-patient relationship. the american people have been clear. they don't like this terrible law. i urge all members to support the repeal of obamacare act so we can scrap this law and work together on real health care reforms that lower costs and make health care more affordable. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cicilline: madam speaker, i rise today to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the leadership alliance. the leadership alliance, established by brown university in 1992, is a national academic consortium of leading universities and
minority-serving institutions with the goal of developing students. through an organized program of research, networking and mentorship at critical transactions along the entire academic training pathway, the leadership alliance prepares young scientists and scholars for graduate training and apprenticeships. today it has mentored more than 2,400 undergrass including 43 rhode islanders. brown university has mentored 386 leadership alliance participants, 35% of whom have received a graduate-level degree. i'm proud to stand in support of this initiative that identifies, trains and mentors tral entered, under-represented -- talented, under-represented, underserved communities. i commend the leadership alliance including brown university for 20 years of mentoring a diverse and competitive research and scholarly work force. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. in 2009 president obama rightly said, the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession. yet the president's signature legislative achievement, obamacare, hinges on 21 separate tax increases, 12 of which hit the middle class. obamacare and its taxes have already proved crushing to the economy, along with broken promises to spur job creation, reduce debt, cut premium costs and allow patients to keep their coverage and physicians. family premiums are up over $1,000, 20 million people are at risk of losing the doctors they like, 48% of businesses arnts hiring to brace for rising health costs and by 2021 the c.b.o. estimates there will be 800,000 fewer jobs because of obamacare. the job of congress is not to defend failure. obamacare makes it harder for job creators to hire and fails in its most basic objectives. thus we have a duty to spare the american people from its $1.76
trillion bill by fully repealing this legislation. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cohen: thank you, madam speaker. yesterday the united states senate approved the nomination of president obama upon my recommendation, of john t. folks jr. to be the new federal district court judge in the western district of tennessee. it was a moment of bipartisanship, where senators mcconnell and reid worked to get the nomination up and my republican senators, corcoran, alexander, sponsored, supported that nomination. judge folks is now standing jurist and attorney. he was a public defender, a state prosecutor, a federal prosecutor, a chief administrative officer for county government. and a current criminal court judge. i have paneled a group of lawyers, bipartisan, just about every representation you can imagine, to advise me on the
person to recommend. everybody felt john folks' temperament and disposition, judicial experience was the right person for the jobs. i was proud to recommend him, i'm pleased the president nominated him. i'm thankful the senate acted in a bipartisan way so we can work down our case load. we should -- we need more judges and the senate needs to approve more. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: and the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, we've long known that president obama's takeover of our health care is bad medicine. and now that the supreme court has determined that it's one of the largest tax increases in american history, we've confirmed that it's bad policy. as i travel up and down the ohio river, i hear repeatedly that this disastrous law must be repealed and replaced with commonsense patient-centered solutions that will grow our economy. mr. johnson: today the house will vote once again to repeal
this law because it's full of broken promises, covered up in empty political rhetoric. president obama promised us that this law would lower health care costs but now we know it will cost more than double what was expected. almost $2 trillion. we were promised that the law would create jobs, but 40% of american businesses tell a different story. and finally we were promised that we'd be able to keep our doctors but a recent survey says that 83% of doctors have considered quitting over the law. free market and patient-centered solutions are not only good policies, but they are also the correct medicines for health care reform. not president obama's big government takeover. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. johnson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. johnson: thank you, madam speaker. by refusing to expand medicaid to cover millions of sick, low
income adults, texas governor rick perry has joined the growing list of republican governors who have decided to put partisan politics before the health of their residents. 6.2 million texans, including 1.2 million children lack health insurance. the highest number of any state in the nation. medicaid expansion would drastically decrease texas' uninsured rate from mr. ayotte: stonnishing 25% to -- from an astonishing 25% to just 9%. without the affordable care act, millions of uninsured americans will continue to see primary care in our nation's overcrowded emergency rooms, leaving taxpayers, property owners, to foot the bill. as a nonpracticing registered nurse, i am all too familiar with this scenario, which has
placed a tremendous burden on our nation's hospital systems. mr. speaker, the highest court in the nation has spoken. and it's time for us to move forward for the american people. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, i rise to honor specialist andrew smith of the united states army's 82nd airborne division. andrew grew up in my hometown and enlisted in the army after graduating from william university. on his first patrol in kandahar, an i.e.d. detonated near him and he lost both of his legs. i first met andrew with his recovering at walter reed where i was impressed by his spirit, curiosity, and determination.
mr. fleischmann: his wife was by his side the entire time and keeps a constant vigil. andrew's mother has been active as well ensuring he receives the best care possible. a particularly touching tribute is an essay written by andrew's sister, katie. she writes, he was aware of the risks that were involved in being a soldier but he was so devoted to protecting our freedom that he was willing to sacrifice in a major way. even though he's away from the war, he is still fighting. katie's essay reminds us that our freedom and safety depend on heroes like andrew smith who put their lives on the line to defend us. i'm humbled to recognize andrew and i am pleased his family is able to join him here today in the house gallery. i ask that katie's essay be submitted to the congressional record and i speak for all americans when i say that we are
forever grateful. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? million defazio: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. defazio: on january 19, 2011, the republicans voted to repeal obamacare. 30 other times on the floor since then they have voted to repeal obamacare, or part of obamacare. and today for the 31st time they will vote to repeal obamacare. how about doing something productive for the american people in terms of lowering health insurance and health care costs instead of your political theater here? the supreme court has ruled. let's roll up our sleeves and improve what is the law of the land. i propose that today we should vote on my bipartisan amendment to take away the antitrust immunity of your friend, the insurance industry, so they can't collude to drive up prices. they can't collude to restrict
coverage and divide up markets and make it affordable for all americans. the consumer union says this would be a 10% to 25% drop in everybody's health insurance in this country. let's do something real. stop the political theater. let's help the american people get affordable health care and health insurance. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, i rise today to support h.r. 6079. it hasn't taken very long for the weight of obamacare to become a significant drag on our economy and our family's budgets. just two years since it was enacted, there are already 12,8 25 pages of obamacare related regulations and notices published in the federal register.
mr. marchant: nobody knows what the final number of regulations will be and let's hope we never find out. it is this high level of uncertainty that is preventing many businesses in my district from hiring new workers and growing. this is the -- this is particularly true amongst small businesses looking to expand. we must repeal this law now that is a disincentive for any small business to grow. i urge my colleagues join me in voting for repeal. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. mr. himes: i rise this morning not to advocate a democrat position or refute a republican idea. instead i rise to highlight a fum threat to our ability to have that important debate. i refer of course to the hundreds of millions, indeed billions of dollars that will influence who comprises this otherwise democratic body and
which may very well determine who occupies the presidency next. in each of our hearts those of us called to represent people in this chamber noted that could not possibly be right. that is why i will co-sponsor two possible constitutional amendments to reverse the damage of citizens united, h.j.res. 111 and h.j.res. 78. this should not be partisan. today it looks like the dollars are behind the republicans. tomorrow that may be different. so let's join, let's stand together for our democracy and back a constitutional amendment to make our democracy about people not about dollars. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized.
>> madam speaker, i rise todayle to celebrate a centennial. 100 years ago in houston, texas, the rice institute opened its doors to 29 female students. since that time it's grown to be one of the most respected universities in all the world. mr. olson: world hayestry has been made on the campus. as all texans know, in september of 1962, president john f. kennedy stood in our stadium and committed a nation to the greatest exploration in human history. a moon landing. space in the u.s. was born at rice. i'm a proud alumnus of rice university, what gives rice such a special place in my heart is an uncommon feeling, a feeling of family and home.
i spent four years on campus, it's a feeling you see in this picture of my son and i on campus this year. happy centennial, rice. i can't wait for the next 100 years. go, owls. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, i rise today to honor the montross search and rescue team. for over 65 years they have been conducting lifesaving operations throughout the lang less national forest and neighboring areas. mr. schiff: these brave men and women have risked their own lives to rescue stranded hikers, victims of national disasters, and anyone in need of assistance. two weeks ago their heroism was on full display. the team spot add little girl face down drowning in a pool of running water in the forest.
the 18-month-old girl was unconscious and stopped breathing when they pulled her out of the water. thanks to them this little girl was brought back to life to the relief and gratitude of her family. that young girl along with so many others is alive today because of the heroic actions of the montross search and rescue team. and they do all this for their community without asking anything in return. the humbling dedication of service and selfless desire to help those in need deserve our respect and gratitude. so today i rise to say thank you montross search and rescue for the great work that you do and for the lives that you save through your efforts. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, many of the smartest minds in america work tirelessly every day to discover a cure for cancer. i'm happy to say we will soon take another step towards the ultimate goal of winning the battle against cancer, it will happen in the city community as the university of kansas cancer
center will soon receive a national cancer institute designation by the national institutes of health. mr. yoder: this designation will affirm the highest quality of cancer research will be conducted at the university of kansas. and this research will directly lead to improved cancer care and lifesaving treatments across the country. madam speaker, nearly 1.7 million americans this year will be diagnosed with a horrible disease of cancer. it touches all of our lives personally and we must remain committed as a nation to ultimately winning this war against cancer. that's why i'm proud today to stand in support of the university of kansas' efforts in this battle and to congratulate all for this important milestone. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? the gentlelady is recognized. le ms. sanchez: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to urge my
republican colleagues to move beyond the attacks on health care for americans and to move forward by giving our -- getting our country back to work. the majority thinks that it's a badge of honor to claim that they will have had 31 votes to repeal the affordable care act. i completely disagree. they will have voted 31 timesle to -- times to replace basic protections. 31 times on the progress made by the act including preventing -- protecting up to 17 million children who now have coverage even with a pre-existing condition. in fact, the 31st vote we will take is nothing more than a reaction, a reaction to chief justice john roberts' opinion that the law is constitutional. and yet the g.o.p. tips to
dispute this. let's move on. if they were serious they would have presented us with a plan 31 votes ago to help us fix any flaws that this law may have. so i plead, for the 31st time, let's get back to work. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. million bilirakis: -- mr. bilirakis: madam speaker, the sad reality in our country today is that americans are faced with skyrocketing health care costs. rather than address the situation, democrats passed a trillion dollar health care takeover that costs too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much. americans don't deserve this. americans deserve commonsense ideas like medical liability reform, encouraging health care
savings accounts, strengthening association health plans, and allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines. commonsense ideas. these reforms would make health care more affordable and accessible without passing on crushing debt to future generations. unlike the current health care law which has raised taxes, cost jobs, and limited personal control of health care, americans deserve meaningful and affordable health care reform that will lower costs, protect consumers, and increase accessibility while allowing americans to control their own health care decisions. this misguided takeover of health care -- of the health care system is not the answer. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? the gentlelady is recognized.
ms. jackson lee: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to congratulate our hometown university, rice university, for their 100 year celebration. a university known for advancing education in the arts, humanities, and sciences. it is a leading university and has been ranked among the top 20 universities in the united states by the "u.s. news and world report" every year since the ranking began in 1983. as a former member of the house science committee, i'm reminded of their great work in nanotechnology, space, cellular technology, bioinformation, and energy and health, and their collaboration with the johnson space center. i'm also delighted that they have decided in their years past to eliminate the bar against african-american students and open the opportunities of a grand education to latinos and african-americans and young people have a last name such as quidier. they have a bright light in dr. roland smith who has led the
effort on diverse filing their campus, and i was delighted to come and join them in honoring the honorable barbara jordan, one of my predecessors, in the 18th congressional district. they of course have a group of astute athletes that have made them proud and they represent the diversity of america. it is great to congratulate a university that understands its brilliance and necessity in teaching the next generation of scientists, thinkingers, and humanitarians. and -- thinkers and humantarians. and to be called an excellent university. congratulations rice university for your 100th year and service to nation and reflection of the diversity of this great country. concongratulations. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. mr. culberson: i have the privilege of representing rice university and i join my colleague from university in recognizing and congratulating them on the 100th university this year. it has been consistently ranked as one of the nation's greatest
universities, recognized by "u.s. news and world report" as one of the nation's top 20 universities and consistently ranked in the top 50 universities in the world. they are pioneers in the a broad spectrum of fields, including space, energy, and my personal passion, nanotechnology. nanotechnology is an absolute game changer, revolutionizing everything that we will touch and see in the 21st century. and rice university is the birthplace of nanotechnology research. nanotechnology holds incredible potential for everything from curing cancer to improving the storage and transmission of electricity and moving electricity in ways we cannot even imagine today. allowing us to miniaturize devices, multistage nanoparticles, allow the delivery of cancer curing drugs to individual structures within cells, allowing scientists to idea seizes at the cellular level. things that could not have been
possible without the groundbreaking work at rice university. i congratulate them today. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? . the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, i rise today as a member who most recently faced an elect rat and i heard loud and -- electorate and i heard loud and clear that the people of southern arizona lected me for the same reason that people of every other district elect their representative. to stand up for them. i wasn't here to vote on the affordable care act when it passed but i appreciate its benefits. mr. barber: and that we must work to improve it. i rise today to speak against this repeal. we should be here having a robust discussion about how to make this law better. we should be acting to ensure that medicare doesn't pay more for prescription drugs than the v.a. and to keep rising insurance costs from hurting small
businesses. we should be looking for ways to create jobs, to strengthen our middle class, to bolster our economy. we should rise above partisan bickering, move on and get something done. this repeal bill sends a message to american families that this body cares more about political grandstanding than improving their lives. let's put aside this charade and do the work for which we were elected. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. ms. richardson: the house farm bill calls for draconian cuts that hurt our most vulnerable americans. i'll be blunt and just get straight to the point. the house-proposed cuts are completely unacceptable. the snap program puts healthy food on the table for 46 million americans every month. ms. sanchez: in my home state of california, close to 6 1/2
million people struggle to put food on the table. and even worse -- and an even worse statistic and one that really breaks my heart, almost 2 1/2 million children each year in california have had to go to bed hungry. and it's simply because their families couldn't afford food. these proposed cuts to snap would quite literally take food out of the mouths of children. in my district snap helps provide food for seniors, kids, veterans and working families. about 20% of my constituents report that at some point last year they couldn't buy food for themselves or their families. i don't understand why in good conscience congress would ask millions of struggling americans to go hungry in order to subsidize big agri-business. as a country we cannot afford to turn our backs on those who need us most now. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri seek recognition?
the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. yesterday a republican representativive from my state told the truth about the 31st attempt to repeal the new health care law. mr. cleaver: he told -- mr. carnahan: he told the st. louis newspaper that today's vote is just because, quote, we want to get people on the record, unquote. well, we've done that. 30 times already. the affordable care act is the law of the land. passed by the congress, signed by the president and found constitution albie the u.s. supreme court. this republican health care repeal bill isn't about people. it's about more divisive dysfunctional politics. they know the repeal bill is pointless and there is no way we're going backwards to the broken health care system of the past. let's use the time to pass a jobs bill. let's pass the middle class tax cut extension that we all agree with.
let's pass my bill that will protect veterans returning from war zones with the impacts of psychological damage. today our troops are killing themselves at a rate of nearly one a day. they urgently need our help. let's do something for them. let's do something that actually matters for the american people. let's put ourselves on record for the people, for jobs, rather than wasting time casting the same vote 30 times. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from maryland seek recognition? ms. edwards: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. edwards: thank you, madam speaker. on my way home from work i stopped at the local grocery store and i stopped at the bank. my bank is located streently between my grocery store and a gas station. i thought about the last four years and the fights that democrats in congress are waging to make sure working families can see more money in their bank accounts. it's been tough but we've had some successes. reducing out-of-pocket heament care expenses, -- health care
expenses with prettient -- preventive care, closing the prescription drug doughnut hole, protecting consumers from overdraft a.t.m. fees, even getting the american auto industry back on track is a mainstay of american manufacturing. but we have some important fights ahead of us. we're fighting to keep in place critical middle class tax cuts. we know americans can't afford those tax hikes. we know american seniors can't afford the drastic cuts in medicare and the republican tea party budget. democrats are focused on growing the economy, createding jobs and ensuring that -- creating jobs and ensuring that americans see more money in our neighborhood bank accounts, not on some other shore, not in some other country noont on some island. republicans say they worry about the same things but today they're repealing health care and protecting the interests of millionaires because they care more about those folks than they do about hardworking americans in their -- and their local bank accounts. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from the great state of michigan seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, i rise in
opposition to the proposed $16.5 billion in cuts to snap. snap is the most important anti-hunger program in the nation, helping more than 46 million americans put food on the table every day. far too many hardworking michigan anders are struggling to feet their children. nearly one in five michigan households face food insecurity each and every day. having met with many of the good folks working in our food banks, they're already stretch to do thing. mr. peters: i'm you a pauled that republicans think that it's a -- i'm appalled that republicans think it's a good idea to kick millions of children, seniors and families off of food assistance so they can provide massive taxpayer-funded subsidies for wealthy agri-businesses. i call on my republican colleagues to join me and stand up for those that are most vulnerable in our society. we need to send a clear message that we will never vote to take food away from hungry children. no one in our country should go hungry. i urge my colleagues to say no
to cuts in food assistance. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from the district of columbia seek recognition? ms. norton: address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. norton: madam speaker, republican attacks on life-saving access to contraceptives in the health care act is one in a series on women's reproductive health this term. the worst is yet to come. and the plan markup of h.r. 3803 , to ban abortions after 20 weeks, cloaked as a restriction on d.c. women, the bill merely uses them for a frontal attack on roe vs. wade that guarantees abortion rights until viability as determined by a physician. the franks bill pick on d.c. women because anti-choice
opponents lack the currently of their own convictions. or they would have made the 20-week abortion ban a nationwide bill. that of course would bring on the wrath of the american people who support choice. judging by the reaction, even before markup, women see through the cynicism and are poised to protect their constitutional rights. i yield back.
up house resolution 726 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 146, house resolution 726, resolved that at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill, h.r. 4402. to require the secretary of the interior and the secretary of agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to the united states' economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on natural resources. after general debate the bill
shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on natural resources now printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 112-26. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the
whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah is recognized for one hour. mr. bishop: madam speaker, for the purpose of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. during consideration of this resolution all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. and i ask that all members have five legislative days during which they may revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
mr. bishop: this resolution provides for a instruct are you -- structured rule for consideration of h.r. 4402 which is the national strategic and critical minerals production act. and provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the committee on natural resources and makes in order seven specific amendments out of 10 which were filed at the rules committee. five of the seven are democratic amendments, two are republican. so this is a fair and generous rule and will provide for a balanced and open debate on the merits of this important piece of legislation. madam speaker, i am pleased to stand before the house today in support of this rule and especially under the underlying legislation which is h.r. 4402, the national strategic and critical mineral production act of 2012. . i appreciate the hard work of the bill's chief sponsor, the gentleman from nevada, who understands the situation very well and put a lot of time and effort in coming up with a
rational and legitimate solution to a problem we face the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, they are to be commended in forwarding this bill to the full house for our consideration today. our nation has been blessed with tremendous natural resources and over the last century, these abundant resources are one of the key reasons that has allowed our nation to emerge as a leading world economic and industrial power. in many aspects we have only scratched the surface with regard to the development of these abundant natural resources whether it be energies such as oil or oil shale or natural gas deposits or weather it be in vearous -- whether it be in various natural minerals. one of the corner stones of manufacturing in the united states includes access to a stable and steady supply of these types of resources. unfortunately in recent decades, many of the development -- much of the development and mining of these domestic mineral resources have been hampered or shut down
entirely by a combination of special interest politics, by a certain self-appointed environmental groups, and by bureaucratics red tape here in washington. often these two factors seem to go hand in hand, particularly under the current administration. we all felt the pain of seeing what these failed policies have done to energy production in our country. we are more dependent than ever on foreign sources, increasing our trade imbalance, sending our dollars overseas, often in areas in the world that do not have our best interests in heart. it has led to escalating gas prices and escalating price spikes for energy and other commodities. and has made our economy more vulnerable to external and international forces largely beyond our immediate control. these failed policies have also led to job losses in the united states in energy and mining sector which historically and ironically have been some of the highest paying jobs the middle class work has available to it. the bureaucratic delays and regulation regarding the mining of strategic and critical
minerals is the exact same thing. by the very nature these minerals are absolutely essential to manufacturing in electronics, metal allies, sir ramics, glass, magnets, catalysts, and used in countless commercial and especially applications. produce curement is so crucial that the department of defense and defense logistic agency manage stockpiles of such materials deemed so critical that an adequate supply must be maintained at all times to ensure national military preparedness and readiness. more and more we have seen these materials are unfortunately being purchased from overseas and not from u.s. producers. making us wholely dependent -- wholly dependent on other countries. equipment such as night vision equipment, fight jet canopies, and many others could not be built without these rare earth minerals. the primary duty of congress under the constitution is provide for the common defense.
this bill takes us in the right direction for helping to restore u.s. domestic production of critical and stage minerals by facilitating a more timely permitting process review for mineral exploration projects and to ensure that such essential mineral mining projects are not delayed unnecessarily by frivolous litigation. let me be clear, this bill does not predetermine the outcome of agency review of such permit application. it merely brings clarity to the process and ensures that the appropriate agencies will not unreasonably delay consideration but will at the conclusion of 30 months issue either a yes or no decision based on the merits of each individual application. this bill will also help cut the flow of frivolous lawsuits which are often filed simply as delay tactics. it's a good bill. it's a fair rule. it's a good underlying bill and i urge its adoption. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
of his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i thank the gentleman from utah for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: madam speaker, i rise in opposition to the rule and the underlying bill, h.r. 4402, the strategic and critical minerals production act. much of what the gentleman from utah said i agree with in terms of the strategic need for critical minerals for our industrial and military production. however that's only a teeny part a. teeny part of what this bill -- part, a teeny part of what this bill does. my colleague, mr. tonko, offers an amendment that would limit the bill. in addition it's my understanding that bipartisan legislation has emerged from the natural resources committee that would address the strategic need for critical minerals. however that is not the bill that is being brought forth under this rule. instead, we essentially have a -- yet another rollback of
public health of water and environmental protections for the mine industry which is our nation's top toxic polluter. i'm very disappointed that the house majority has chosen to bring forward this bill instead of the bipartisan bill that passed committee. it shuts out several amendments that have been offered by democratic members. and the underlying legislation doesn't limit itself to strategic and critical minerals. it's so broad that despite the bill's title it would expand mining companies' ability to mine on public land for nearly all minerals, including plentiful minerals like sand and clay, and even coal. this really is not a discussion of strategic and critical minerals if we are talking about sand and clay. in fact, yesterday at our rules committee, chairman hastings admitted during the rules committee hearing when
questioned by mr. mcgovern that this bill applies to a lot more than strategic and critical minerals. in fact, chairman hastings when asked on this issue said, we talk about aform of minerals as being rare earth. there is no question they are rare. but to say some minerals aren't critical to our well-being i think defies logic. chairman hastings went on to cite the use of sand and gravel to build our interstate system as an example of a critical use. a lot of what the gentleman from utah said is true. it is important. however when we are talking about sand and gravel, they don't fit the commonsense definition of a strategic and critical mineral production act that were cited by the gentleman being of national importance. the chairman of the committee has made clear this bill isn't about rare earth minerals at all, it's not the kind of bipartisan bill that's targeted
at critical resources. rather it's about giving mining companies a blank check to take anything they want out of the ground anywhere, any time. under the bill the mining sponsors have control over the timing of the permitting decision, irrespective of the project's impact on natural, cultural, historic resources. it's local impact. taking into account the effect on the economies of our counties and jobs. rather, it gives the mining companies a blank check. it mer mitts -- permits nearly all mining operations to sir couple vent meaningful public health. and when you consider the large and complex mining operations covered under this bill, it's even more inappropriate to reduce or eliminate the public comment and review process because of the shear size of some of these projects. now, the actual harm that this legislation would produce is far-reaching. as drafted the legislation threatens to increase pollution of water in our western united
states. for states already dealing with extreme drought conditions like my home state of colorado, also the site of several deadly fires, the last thing we need to do is jeopardize our scarce water resources. now, democrats and republicans agree that we should be crafting a strategy to develop our rare earth and other critical minerals. in fact, a year ago this same congress the natural resources committee marked up h.r. 2011, a bill supported by the national mining association, a bill that had strong bipartisan support that would help develop our rare earth and other critical minerals. so why aren't we considering that bill on the floor today? instead we are considering an ideological bill that will go nowhere and has the statement of opposition from the president as well. why the house majority sees a
need for this legislation is somewhat mystifying considering that under president obama's administration the average time it takes to approve a plan of operation for a mine has decreased substantially. according to the b.l.m. data, plans of operation for hard rock mines are being approved 17% more quickly. under the obama administration than the bush administration. 82% of plans of operation are approved within three years under the obama administration. and according to the b.l.m. it takes on average four years to approve mining plan of operations for a large mine, more than a 1,000 acre mine on public lands. there's a lot of issues, county issues, civic issues, economic issues around a 1,000 acre mine. and there needs to be a thoughtful process about how it affects the communities where it's located and how it affects air and water. mining companies already extract billions of dollars in minerals from our public lands. this bill would continue to line the pockets of an industry that
already has significant profit margins and actually this bill jeopardizes jobs that are economic recovery by failing to take into account the local economic impact of mines. not mining for strategic and critical mineral production but mining for nearly everything under the sun, including clay and gravel. again. i think again while we can be grateful that president obama has accelerated the approval proses is, -- process, there's certainly work to continue. i urge my colleagues to bring forth the bipartisan bill that would specifically look at real strategic and critical minerals. but this bill and this rule are unduly restrictive and i encourage my colleagues to vote no and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from new mexico, mr. pearce, who understands this issue very directly with his experience both on the resources committee
as well as his home state of new mexico. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new mexico is recognized for two minutes. mr. pearce: thank you. appreciate the gentleman yielding. i rise today in support of the rule for h.r. 4402, the national strategic and critical minerals production act. the gentleman from utah has stated it right. it's a fair rule and it's a good bill. all it does is simply defines the critical mineral has any related to national security of the nation's energy infrastructure. that clarity is needed. but additionally it affects one thing that people are constantly clamoring about in my secure district. where are the jobs? this bill understands what the president began to hint at in his march 22, 2012 executive order. the president in that executive order said, our federal permitting and review processes must provide transparent, consistent, and predictable path for both project sponsors and affected communities.
they must ensure that agencies set and adhere to timelines and schedules for completion of reviews, set clear permitting performance goals, and track progress against these goals. now, the president has moved toward the problem that we see in this country that many of our mines are moving outside this nation. new mexico used to be the home for 11 rare earth mineral mines. today it's the home of zero. those mines have relocated over in china. as we look at the rare earth minerals, those are strategicically important, that's one thing this bill gets at. the definition that is will give teeth to the president's executive order from march 22. people in new mexico constantly ask, why don't the two parties work together? i think there are many opportunities for the parties to work together. the president has begun the process and we are simply adding the reverse that would make it a completed argument. the president said in the past,
for instance, they were not working together and we should, for example, in both the last two states of the union, said we must reform corporate taxes. i suggest that -- would request -- i requested that the president work with us to affect those taxes. let's lower those corporate taxes. get companies back here, but the president has at this point kept those discussions at arm's length. this bill is simply another attempt to reach out to the president and say, we all want to create jobs. we want commonsense production -- commonsense solutions to the problems that we face. work with us to define the strategic minerals and critical -- strategic and critical minerals and do it in this act. i think something that the president should be reaching out to this body and saying yes, good, go. and would appreciate -- thank the sponsor for bringing the bill. would thank the gentleman for yielding. yielding. let's work together to create